Phyllis Donovan: Beginning fresh for new year

Phyllis Donovan: Beginning fresh for new year

               I’m a creature of habit and when things change in my life, I just don’t feel right until everything is restored to the norm.

      Of course, during the Christmas season, everything changes in our house from the day we put up the tree until it and the decorations finally come down on Three Kings Day. That’s a long time to be trying to live with our lives more than a little askew.

      First of all, to accommodate the tree in the place of honor in the bay window of our living room, my favorite reading chair had to be moved. For the time being, I’m without my good reading lamp and don’t even get the first rays of the morning sun that I’m accustomed to.

      “You’re just too set in your ways,” my husband scolds, but he too had to live with temporary changes. For instance, before the family gathered here for Christmas,” he had to pack up his computer and all the detritus of the secondary office which he established on one end of our dining room table plus the printer on the sideboard. He has a whole office of his own downstairs in our raised ranch but for some reason, he branched out a few years ago to this spot right in the middle of our living space.

    “You’re going to have to move all your things off the dining room table before Christmas,' I told him. “We’re going to need it to eat on for the holiday.”

      “I’ll get to it,” he told me, but it wasn’t until a couple of days before the big day that he started packing it up and moving it into the master bedroom where it stayed in a pile until after the family had come and gone.

    On Christmas Day, the house looked lovely, I must admit.  With everything decorated, a table full of good food and a happy family gathered for gifts and camaraderie, I didn’t give a thought to its being more a showplace than its normal lived-in state.

       The day after Christmas however, the computer came back to the dining room table, Then slowly, all of his other projects started to make their way out of the bedroom.  

      What was left I’d eventually go through myself and toss out most of it. The rule stands, “if you haven’t used it or missed it in a couple of months, you probably never will.    And truthfully, isn’t getting rid of unnecessary paperwork part of starting fresh?

      That’s not all. In this past week leading up to a new year, I’ve approached things with a spurt of extra energy that came from looking at things with that fresh eye. I found myself cleaning out the refrigerator and kitchen cupboards, checking out their contents and finding all sorts of things that should have been discarded long ago. 

T he same with closets. To make room for Christmas gifts, I came up with a heap of good usable clothing that, due the change in our lifestyle, we never use any more. All of these warm clothes can be given to people who can use them better than we can.

And so we begin the new year, re-evaluating our life of sameness and going forward with an optimistic outlook for a changing and healthy year ahead. (But truthfully, I’d  be more than happy if everything just stayed the same as they’ve always been.)

 Happy New Year!

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